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  • What is the Pelvic Floor, and Why Should We Care About It?

    Pelvic health has become a hot topic in the past decade, and for good reason. Women experience significant changes to their pelvic floors throughout their lifespans, and we have historically received minimal education about this part of our bodies. Perhaps you have birthed children vaginally and forever sworn off trampolines with your kids. Perhaps you leak urine when you sneeze, but you cross your legs and hope for the best. Perhaps you hit menopause, and have just accepted that you have symptoms of prolapse at the end of each day. These examples are extremely common, but far from normal. There are treatment options available and even ways to prevent many of these issues before they start. They are not something that women have to live with due to childbirth or aging as was believed by previous generations. The pelvic floor is a critical group of muscles at the bottom of the pelvis. They play important roles in sexual health, bowel and bladder function, organ support, core stability, circulation and posture. These muscles are small but mighty, and deserve more awareness and education. In females, the pelvic floor undergoes significant changes across the lifespan with injuries, exercise, pregnancy, childbirth (even Cesarean section), and menopause. Understanding what signs or symptoms to look for, and how to go about addressing or preventing them, can help avoid long-term issues and improve your quality of life. During childbearing years, the pelvic floor is a key player. It is quite literally responsible for supporting the growing uterus during pregnancy, which may lead to weakness or spasming of the muscles trying to support these changes in posture. Following childbirth, weakness, tearing, stitches, muscle spasm or trigger points can cause persisting issues with postpartum pelvic floor function. The pelvic floor also works closely with your abdominal muscles and breathing diaphragm, and the coordination between these structures can be altered after delivery. Women who have c-section births often still have changes to the pelvic floor from pregnancy, and scar tissue from c-sections can also directly affect how the pelvic floor works. The pelvic floor undergoes significant changes at menopause when hormone levels shift drastically. This group of muscles and the tissue at the perineum is particularly susceptible to the drop in estrogen in the body. These changes can lead to increased muscle atrophy, tissue laxity and tissue sensitivity. This often presents as symptoms such as organ prolapse, pain with sexual activity, or urinary urgency or incontinence, to name a few. Sometimes, these pelvic floor changes may be present (though asymptomatic) prior to menopause, but the hormonal shift can bring symptoms to the forefront and impact function. While the pelvic floor is a small group of muscles, it is an important puzzle piece that works closely with the rest of the body. Other factors that may affect your pelvic floor health include back and hip injuries, chronic pain, diastasis recti, core weakness, abdominal pain or surgeries, gynecological conditions or procedures, constipation, PCOS, endometriosis, stress/anxiety, or poor postural habits. Some types of exercise can also contribute to pelvic floor stress if not done properly or if you have underlying pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvic floor is susceptible to many changes, stressors, and challenges throughout the female lifespan, which is really no different than any other group of muscles in the body. The difference, however, is that this small group of muscles is responsible for such critical roles, that when they are not functioning optimally, significant inconveniences can result. The great news is that there are treatment options available, and you do not have to live with these concerns indefinitely. Finding an excellent pelvic floor therapist as part of your women’s health team can be life-changing from reproductive years to post-menopause. After many years in this profession, I can tell you that it is almost never as simple as the blanket recommendation to “Do Kegels,” but a skilled physical therapist will assess your concerns and get you back on track to improve your pelvic health. You can find more information from Dr. Kaitlyn Labberton and ReclaimHER Physical Therapy at https://www.reclaimherpt.com.

  • The Pump Act: What it is and What it Means For You

    Let's talk about the PUMP Act and why it's important for you to know about it. The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers was signed into law on December 29, 2022. This means that although it went into effect immediately the enforcement won’t go into effect until April 28, 2023. So, if a company or organization fails to follow this new legislation there are no repercussions until April 28th. You may have heard of the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law which was signed in 2010 and requires that requires employers to provide reasonable break time AND a private space for all lactating employees (bathrooms don't count). The PUMP Act is a different law, but it was created to address some of the loopholes in the Break Time law. How is it different? Let’s break it down! The PUMP act includes the following additions: Provides the right to break time and space to pump breast milk at work to millions more workers, including teachers and nurses, as well as other salaried workers Makes it possible for workers to file a lawsuit to seek financial compensation if their employer fails to comply Makes it clear that pumping time must be paid if the employee is still doing any work while pumping breast milk Why is the PUMP Act important? Well, first of all, this is huge news for all lactating individuals in general. Beyond that, this is big news when it comes to equity in the workplace. This law gives lactating individuals both proper support and protection. This act is another step towards gender equity in the workplace and allows for new moms who are wanting to come back to work feel that much more confident in being able to step into their role as a parent and not feel like they are jeopardizing their status as an employee. Secondly, if you are currently pumping breast milk you can feel confident in knowing that your employer is required to accommodate you. However, be mindful that employers who have yet to put this into effect in the workplace can't face repercussions until April 28, 2023. Happy pumping! Learn more: https://www.usbreastfeeding.org/pump-act.html https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimelsesser/2022/12/22/senate-passes-two-bills-for-pregnant-and-breastfeeding-moms-at-work/?sh=6491904633c2 https://www.americanprogress.org/article/5-facts-about-the-pump-for-nursing-mothers-act/

  • The Period Talk Reimagined

    We're talking all things periods... everything the "video" never taught you. Recently I listened to a podcast "The period talk you never got" on NPR's Life Kit by Margaret Cirino who did a variation of the same podcast on NPR's Shortwave. As a young woman in my twenties taking control of my reproductive health has never been more important. Especially as I am getting older, my reproductive health has become more of a topic of conversation between my friends and I as we are approaching that next stage of life. For me, the period talk began with the aforementioned "video." The one with the techno brain-wave music playing in the background while a narrator explains puberty and the changing parts of a female and male body. Closely followed by the American Girl Doll book: The Care and Keeping of You that my mom gave to me with a note saying to talk to her whenever. While, we have come a long way since then, there are a lot of parts to the menstrual cycle that I had to discover on my own. As I've gotten older, I have begun to realize how much my body changes throughout the menstrual cycle. Each phase (which we will touch on below!) causes my body, mood, energy levels, etc. to change, which is all totally normal. There are many parts of women's health that often feel very taboo to talk about. If you're like me, it can often feel like we are expected to know these things and it can feel wrong or embarrassing to ask questions. But how else are we going to learn?! Whether we are talking about fertility, reproductive health, vaginal health, or the menstrual cycle women should feel confident in asking questions and taking initiative to learn more. There is no shame in wanting to better understand your own body. So, let's get into it! Most cisgender women go through a menstrual cycle each month that consists of four specific phases. The menstrual cycle is when the uterus prepares for a possible pregnancy by thickening the uterus lining and then shedding it at the start of the cycle. Most of this information was not necessarily new to me. However, it wasn't until recently that I learned that there are specific phases within the cycle. Let's break them down... Menstrual Phase This is the first phase of the cycle and the phase when you get your period. During this phase your uterus is shedding its lining because the egg from your previous cycle wasn't fertilized (aka you are not pregnant). The thicker lining helps support a pregnancy, which is why if you are not pregnant at the end of your previous cycle, your uterus will shed the lining and start again! Follicular Phase This is the second phase of the cycle when the level of estrogen rises which causes the lining in your uterus to begin to thicken again. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is also released to stimulate follicle growth in your ovaries. Follicles are small sacs that contain an egg. During the follicular phase one of these eggs will fully mature. Ovulation Phase This leads to the third phase, ovulation. The rising levels of estrogen from the follicular phase trigger the pituitary gland in your brain to release luteinizing hormone (LH) which starts the process of ovulation. The egg that matured in your ovaries during the follicular phase is released. This phase of the menstrual cycle is when you are at the highest chance of getting pregnant. Luteal Phase This is the final phase of the menstrual cycle. Your egg leaves the ovary causing progesterone and estrogen to release. These hormones help to keep your uterine lining thick and ready for an egg to implant. If the egg is fertilized by sperm (meaning you've become pregnant), it attaches to the lining on the uterine wall, which is referred to as implantation. If the egg is not fertilized (i.e. pregnancy has not occurred) the uterine lining will shed during the menstrual phase, restarting the cycle. If you do not become pregnant, then during the luteal phase you may experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) before the menstrual phase begins. Common symptoms of PMS: bloating trouble sleeping acne headache changes in libido (sex drive) mood changes food cravings breast swelling, pain, or tenderness When it comes to the menstrual cycle, I think there is one thing we have to get a lot more confident with: talking about it! I encourage you to start the conversation, because chances are, you and I aren't the only ones who are thinking about it. Learn more: https://www.npr.org/transcripts/1159147189 https://www.npr.org/2023/01/04/1146886275/the-period-talk-for-adults https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/stages-of-menstrual-cycle https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10132-menstrual-cycle

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Other Pages (18)

  • Reliable Maternity | Breast Pumps Through Insurance

    Ask your customer support representative about HSA/FSA payment options! Begin your breastfeeding journey the Reliable way Providing insurance covered breast pumps, supplies, and lactation counseling across New England Order through insurance About who we are At Reliable Maternity, we prioritize wellness. Reliable Maternity is a part of the Reliable family of healthcare solutions. We are dedicated to providing excellent service and top-of-the-line equipment for all new parents. ​ Based in Norwood, MA, we are one of the leading independently-owned providers of specialty medical equipment and home respiratory supplies in the United States. Learn more featured pumps No insurance? No problem. all of our pumps are available for private pay purchase, contact us for pricing Browse catalog Quick View Zomee Z2 Double Electric Breast Pump Quick View Zomee Fit Wearable Breast Pump Quick View Spectra S2 Plus Double Electric Breast Pump our trusted brands parents say Reliable Stories "So grateful that Reliable Maternity was able to coordinate my insurance benefits to get the best coverage for the breast pump"

  • Mothers' Milk Depot Grand Opening | Reliable Maternity

    Back Mothers' Milk Bank Depot Grand Opening December 7, 2022 We are so grateful to be working with Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast to open the first Milk Depot in Norwood. We hosted a grand opening at our office in Norwood, MA to celebrate the official opening of the milk depot. We were joined by teammates and volunteers from Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast, Moving Violations Motorcycle Club Boston (Bikers for Babies), and members of our Reliable team! We were honored to welcome our first milk donor and her son to kick start the depot. Learn More View more Official Press Release Mothers' Milk Bank Blog Post on Depot Opening gallery

  • Who We Are | Reliable Maternity

    who we are About the Reliable family our story Reliable Maternity is a part of the Reliable family of healthcare solutions. We are dedicated to providing excellent service and top-of-the-line equipment for all new parents. ​ Our mission is to empower, educate, and support parents throughout their breastfeeding journey and beyond by offering lactation counseling, educational resources, support for breastmilk donations, and more. ​ Based in Norwood, MA, we are one of the leading independently-owned providers of specialty medical equipment and home respiratory supplies in the United States.​ We service all of New England with knowledgeable specialists to provide advice and support directly to our patients. our values Empower We want to supply parents with the tools and knowledge they need to feel in-charge of their breastfeeding journey. Educate We are determined to inform and provide resources to parents so that they can take control of their overall health and wellness. Support We want to continue to build a community of parents who are there to support each other and lean on one another. our customer care team LISA Director of Health and Wellness and Certified Lactation Counselor Mom of five • Therapy Dog Handler • Runner • Ocean Lover • Women's Health & Fitness Enthusiast HANNAH Operations Manager and Certified Lactation Counselor Mom of two • Rescue-dog Mom • NE Patriots Superfan • Passionate Home Cook • Chocolate Lover YULIYA Human Resources Director Mom of one • Cat Lover • Chocolate Superfan • Beach Lover • Amateur Chef MOLLY Human Resources Manager Sister • Aunt • Reality TV Superfan • Wannabe Professional Organizer • Chocolate Obsessed MARY BETH Human Resources Generalist Rescue-Dog Mom • Music Lover • Singer & Guitar Player • Travel Enthusiast SHONDA Human Resources Coordinator New England Native • Foodie • Shoe Lover • Proud Owner of 2 Stray Cats • Avid Reader SHELLY Project Specialist Mom of one • Animal Lover • Gamer • Coffee Superfan • Martial Arts Enthusiast SARA Design Lead Sister • Athlete • Foodie • Passionate About Optimizing Women's Health EMMA Project Specialist and Design Team Sister • World Traveler • Active Living Enthusiast • Matcha Lover • Mental Health Advocate EMILIA Customer Success Coordinator Hungarian • Bird Lover • Dancer • Art Enthusiast • Gymnast explore See how we're getting involved Learn more about how we are getting involved in the community with some amazing organizations! Click Here Explore our resources Check out our thoughtfully designed resources for patients and healthcare providers. Click Here Meet the Reliable Family of Healthcare Solutions Reliable Diabetes Care Reliable Respiratory Reliable Urology Care

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